One of the many things I realised about England since travelling is just how bad our coffee is. Sorry guys but the rest of Europe just seems to do it better. Maybe we should stick to tea…
When travelling one of my favourite things to do in a new place is go out and get a coffee (I’m
addicted obsessed). It’s my favourite way to start the day, or have a little break mid-way through a busy day of exploring. As much as I love getting coffee ‘to go’, when in a new city I enjoy the whole experience of actually sitting in a cafe, and watching the town or city go by. Cafes really are the best locations for people watching.
This list below comprises the places that stand out in my mind for their amazing coffee, and great atmosphere. I like to think that over the years of being addicted to caffeine, I have developed some kind of sixth sense for being able to sniff out a good coffee shop from a few miles away…
Shakespeare and Sons (Berlin)
Located in the FRIEDRICHSHAIN district of Berlin you’ll find this super cool hipster hangout. Don’t be put off by the bearded men tapping away on their MacBooks, discussing deep philosophical questions about the meaning of life, it’s actually really nice and welcoming. Part bookstore, part cafe, serving a choice of dairy free milk (including almond milk!), you can easily spend a few hours in here browsing the English titles. They serve reasonably priced bagels too, which I must say I regret not trying.
They had one of the best almond milk lattes I’ve ever had, although maybe that’s not saying much because looking back I’ve had some pretty dreadful ones.
Gorilla.sk Urban Space (Bratislava)
I wasn’t expecting great coffee in Bratislava, but yet again I was wrong. Apparently the city has a growing artisan coffee scene, and this cafe combined with bookstore is one of my favourite coffee shops EVER! I regret that I only got to sample their coffee once. It is huge, and has big long tables perfect for doing some work on your laptop, and also comfy, squishy chairs with loads of plugs to charge your electronics. They serve cakes and pastries too.
Anonymous Coffee (Prague)
On my trip to Prague myself and my friend stumbled across this cafe by accident, but right away I knew it would be good. A lot of things are written in English, the staff all look über cool, and the inside is bright (complete with a swing chair) and spread over two floors. It wasn’t very touristy and seemed more a place where locals actually went.
The coffee was delicious, but so affordable and they offer dairy free alternatives to milk. I’m sad that I didn’t think to take any pictures of the beautiful inside. When I go back to Prague I know I will be returning here immediately.
Schanzen Bäckerei (Hamburg)
Maybe not technically a cafe but this bakery has a huge indoor seating area upstairs, and serves some of the nicest coffee I’ve ever had. It is so affordable, I think this pumpkin seed roll and large cappuccino came to under 2 euros. When in Germany you just have to visit a bakery to sample some of their brilliant bread, but it turns out they also do great coffee too.
Há Café no Alfarrabista (Lisbon)
I don’t know what it is about the idea of coffee in a bookstore, but apparently I love the concept because this is the third such place on my list. Again I stumbled across this place by accident the first time I was in Lisbon with my friend, and we were in desperate need of a sit down. The coffee was cheap and delicious, the cafe quite small but with bookshelves lining the walls, all making it a great place to rest and refuel. Definitely a hidden gem of Lisbon.
Looking back I’ve had some incredible coffees in Europe, and I can’t wait to see what the East of Europe has to offer in the way of coffee.
Being the avid coffee drinker I am great coffee is one of the things that I miss the most when I’m back in England. That’s not to say that we don’t have some good places, but my favourites are definitely across in mainland Europe.